A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

1. T.QuinctiusCapitolinusBarbatus, was consul in B. C. 471 with App. Claudius Sabinus Regillensis. During the disputes about the Publilian law, he opposed his colleague and conciliated the plebeians, and the law was carried. He then conducted the war against the Aequians, and his great popularity with the soldiers enabled him to conquer the enemy, who did not venture to meet the Romans, but allowed them to ravage the country. The immense booty acquired in this campaign was all distributed among the soldiers. He obtained the consulship a second time in B. C. 468, during which year he again carried on a war against the Volscians and Aequians, and by his presence of mind saved the Roman camp, which was attacked by the enemy during the night. After this war he was honoured with a triumph. In B. C. 365 he was made consul a third time. The war against the Aequians and Volscians was still continued, and Capitolinus, who was stationed on mount Algidus and there heard of the ravaging inroads of the Aequians in the Roman territory, returned to Rome and delivered his fellow-citizens from their terror. The senate proclaimed a justitium, and the consul again marched out to protect the Roman frontier; but as he did not meet with the enemy, who had in the meantime been defeated by his colleague Q. Fabius, Capitolinus returned to Rome four days after he had left it. The consulship was given him for the fourth time in B. C. 446, together with Agrippa Furius. During the quarrels which were then going on at Rome between the patricians and plebeians, the Aequians and Volscians again took up arms, began ravaging Latium, and advanced up to the very walls of the city. The people of Rome were too distracted among themselves to take the field against the enemy, but Capitolinus succeeded in allaying the discontent of the plebs, and in rousing the nation to defend itself with all energy. The supreme command of the Roman army was given him with the consent of his colleague, and he routed the enemy in a fierce contest. In B. C. 443 he obtained his fifth consulship. In this year the censorship was instituted at Rome as an office distinct from the consulship. While his colleague M. Geganius Macerinus was engaged in a war against Ardea, Capitolinus gained equal laurels at home by acting as mediator between the patricians and plebeians, with both of whom he had acquired the highest esteem. The extraordinary wisdom and moderation he had shewn on all occasions, obtained for him the sixth consulship in B. C. 439, together with Agrippa Menenius. Rome was at that time visited by a famine, and when he pointed out the necessity of appointing a dictator under the circumstances, the dignity was offered him, but he declined it on account of his advanced age, recommending L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, who was accordingly raised to that dignity. In B. C. 437, he accompanied the dictator Mam. Aemilius Mamercinus as legate in his campaign against Fidenae, and a few years later he came forward as a suppliant for the son of the dictator Cincinnatus, who was tried before the comitia, and the prayer of the aged Quinctius procured his acquittal. After this time we hear no more of him. (Liv. 2.56-60, 64, 3.2, &c., 66, &c., 4.8, 10, 13, 17, 41; Dionys. A. R. 9.43, &c., 57, 61, 11.63; Zonar. 7.19.)